Reviewing a show of Rose’s photographs at the Museum of the City of New York in 2014, Sarah Goodyear wrote in CityLab:
“In Aaron Rose's pictures of Coney Island, you can see everything. Flesh, yes; that’s what he went looking for, and he got it, in all its imperfect glory. The photographer went to Coney Island seeking the drama of the human figure, unveiled. This, at a time in history when men wore hats and suits and women wore white gloves and modest dresses. On the beach, Rose also captured emotion, intimacy, and the defiant freedom that urban people feel when they are released from their workaday routine to the water and the sun.”
Aaron Rose on shooting at Coney Island-
“I mostly picked the weekends, because the weekends were crowded. If there was rain, I didn’t go. Or if it was very cloudy, I didn’t go. I liked the sunlight. I liked the sun beating down on flesh. I would look, just like everybody else observing on the beach. I’d see an interesting woman in her beach chair, laid out, burnt to death, practically. Then I would ponder how I would approach it: from the left, from the right, from the back, from the front and then by the time I reached them I had a pretty good idea of how I wanted to see that grouping. I would walk by with my camera on my side. I never put the camera up to my eyes. Even the picture of the weight lifter—everybody thinks he posed—he did not know that picture was being taken. He was just looking my way. The lovers were just a real lucky thing. I saw them, but I didn’t think I could get them in the depth of field. The weightlifter was on one focus plane then the lovers [on another], they actually became more blurred, but still it added another element to it. It put the emphasis on him with that little action going on in the back of him.”
These photographs were taken on summer weekends between 1961 and 1963.